Archive for March, 2009

In my February 16 entry on this blog, I listed ten suggestions that Mormons have offered over the years to explain the apparent failure of Joseph Smith’s Missouri Temple prophecy. These included the suggestions that the LDS Church was unable to build the temple because of opposition from enemies or disobedience of the LDS people themselves; that the prophecy referred to the Kirtland temple rather than one in Independence; and that it was not a predictive prophecy at all but rather a command for the Saints to (try to) build a temple in Independence. (Mormons occasionally suggest that no answer is needed because scripture need not be inerrant; this view admits that the prophecy is in error but denies that the mistake is evidence against Joseph Smith’s claim to be a prophet.) I have argued up to this point that all of these suggested strategies for handling the problem fail.

The explanations that remain attempt to resolve the difficulty by stipulating definitions of the word generation that overcome the problem. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why IRR Invests Internationally

   Posted by: Rob Bowman    in IRR, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism

NOTE: This is a special blog entry from Joel B. Groat, the Coordinator for International Ministries for the Institute for Religious Research.


Last year I made mission trips to Madagascar and Mexico—diverse countries with significant common denominators: serious social conflict, sacrificial Christian missionary work and successful Mormon proselytizing. Events in the first category are capturing national headlines, and I’m concerned for good friends in the midst of the fray; but it’s the last two that capture my heart.

You see, my parents are Christian missionaries, and I was raised in Venezuela (in South America). Growing up I witnessed firsthand the sacrifices my parents and other missionary “uncles” and “aunts” made to take the living water of salvation “by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus alone” to people who had never heard. So, you’ll understand why the following quotes from the Mormon magazine, Ensign, struck a nerve. The article talked about how the work of Christian missionaries has aided Mormon proselytizing. Read the rest of this entry »

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One of the most interesting explanations of Joseph Smith’s Missouri Temple prophecy is the suggestion that the words “shall be reared” and “shall be built” (D&C 84:4, 5) may be imperatives rather than indicatives. In other words, they may express commands of what the Saints were told to do, not predictions as to what would certainly occur. One LDS apologetics web site offers this explanation with some tentativeness: Read the rest of this entry »

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